Elon Musk has made a change to the way Europeans can pay for Twitter Blue following accusations of violating European Union’s unfair business practices directive. The consumer watchdog claimed that Twitter Blue was breaking rules by not including tax in the subscription price.
Musk’s Twitter Blue is a subscription-based service costing $8 a month, aimed at reducing spam and making Twitter more profitable, but has been controversial due to the use of the verified blue checkmark and trolls impersonating celebrities.
It is unclear what changes Musk has made, but it appears to have been done quietly without a formal announcement. This move could be an attempt to avoid any further scrutiny from European regulators and avoid potential fines.
Twitter Blue, a subscription-based service offered by Twitter, has been accused of breaking European Union (EU) rules by not including tax in its subscription price. In countries within the EU that use the euro currency, Twitter Blue was advertised as 8 euros ($8.80) per month on the web app, which is slightly more than the $8 price in the US.
However, EU consumer-protection laws require companies to display value-added tax (VAT) in the advertised price. As a result, Twitter users in Europe were not previously aware that the subscription could cost an extra $20 per year.
After the accusation of breaking EU rules, Twitter appears to have changed the way Europeans pay for Twitter Blue. In the EU, the subscription price now varies by country due to different tax rates, but is generally around $10.60.
Twitter has updated its prices for EU countries on March 23, six days after the initial report, and the subscription price in the UK, where similar laws apply, was amended a few hours later.
Twitter Blue was launched as Elon Musk’s flagship project to make Twitter more profitable and reduce spam. It provides users with features such as the ability to undo tweets, organize bookmarks, and access exclusive content.
However, the use of verified blue checkmarks has attracted controversy, with some users impersonating celebrities. Overall, Twitter has responded to the EU’s consumer protection laws by updating its pricing for EU countries to comply with tax regulations.
European Twitter users are now seeing a higher advertised price for the Twitter Blue subscription, as the company has updated its pricing in response to accusations of breaking EU rules by failing to display value-added tax (VAT) in the advertised price.
Previously advertised at €8 in EU countries that use the euro currency, the price now varies by country due to different tax rates, but is roughly $10.60. This change brings Twitter in line with EU consumer protection laws, which require companies to display VAT in the advertised price.
Insider previously reported that Twitter was violating EU rules by failing to include tax in the subscription price, which could lead to customers being surprised by additional costs at checkout.
In addition, Twitter appeared to miscalculate VAT percentages at checkout, adding 20% in each instance regardless of the country’s actual VAT rate.
Since Twitter updated its prices on March 23, the annual subscription in countries such as Denmark has been correctly advertised as the final price, with no surprise charges at checkout.
As of April 2023, it is estimated that roughly 400,000 people have signed up for Twitter Blue, which is less than 1% of Twitter’s 500 million monthly users.
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